January 28, 2012; Mobile, AL, USA; North Squad defensive back Leonard Johnson (23) of Iowa State and linebacker Demario Davis (28) celebrate a defensive play during the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE
I’ve mentioned earlier that we have an extensive network here at fansided. So to get an insider’s perspective on our third round choice, Demario Davis of Arkansas State, we reached out to Kyle Kensing of saturdayblitz.com, and he was kind enough to give us a report on Davis. Here is what he had to say:
FOX radio personality/game analyst and former USC tailback Petros Papadakis once referred to a player as “a rolling ball of knives.” It’s a fun, descriptive phrase that could categorize Demario Davis’s style of play.
The Arkansas State product plays with a tenacity accentuated by his athleticism. He’s effective pursuing the rush, and was used frequently in blitzing packages last season, racking up the second most tackles-for-loss on ASU’s Sun Belt Conference championship team. His true asset in the NFL though is his versatility.
Davis is a linebacker and was drafted into the New York Jets organization to play that position. At around 6-foot-3, 240 pounds he has prototype linebacker size. But his speed and pass coverage ability would make him an asset at strong safety. He broke up five passes and intercepted three passes the last two seasons dropping back into coverage. When he falls into such protection, his 4.5 40 speed allows him to keep pace with fleet-footed receivers. Brian Urlacher was used in a Spur position — safety/linebacker hybrid — while in college; Davis could be used in similar fashion if a defensive coordinator was to choose to do so.
Where that could come into play in the AFC East is covering the athletic and quick mid-range pass catchers dotting the division, like New England’s tandem of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and Buffalo’s Scott Chandler. A shining example is his performance in the RedWolves’ league title-clinching defeat of La.-Lafayette. ULL head coach Mark Hudspeth installed a potent, vertical offense that resulted in 10 wins.
Davis helped contain the Cajuns to 21 points. Davis made an interception in that game, and aided in stifling celebrated tight end and San Diego Chargers’ fourth round selection Ladarius Green.
It sounds like this guy could make a much bigger impact than even I realized. If he is an excellent tackler, as well as a major against the pass, Davis could be a steal on round 3.
Thanks to Kyle Kensing for the insights.